It seems like a great time to show some love to dads and co-parents. We’ve come a long way since the days when fathers were expected to sit in the waiting room during the birth of their children. It’s wonderful that, nowadays, so many partners are excited to be involved in this memorable event – even if many are understandably nervous. Let’s explore some of the ways that dads and doulas work together, and how doulas can offer priceless support to both parents.
We share your vision.
You probably both have some goals in mind about how you’d like your birth to go. Your doula’s job is to help make that ideal birth happen. That includes your vision of the type of support you, as a couple, want your partner to provide. So, if Dad wants to physically support you in different positions, or give you a massage, your doula can show him how. If your partner is more comfortable keeping things organized and offering verbal reassurances, she can do that while your doula helps in a more hands-on way.
The key is to communicate. There will be ample opportunity to share your expectations with your doula ahead of time, so don’t be shy!
We take the pressure off.
Doulas are the only labor support professionals who offer continuous, round-the-clock support. That means we can take care of some of the tasks that might exhaust or distract your partner, so they can focus on you. Say you need someone to field text messages from grandparents, grab a cool wash cloth, or even take over hand-holding while your partner grabs something to eat. Your doula can take these types of tasks off your partner’s hands so he can devote more time and energy to you.
We also take the pressure off by reassuring your partner. In the haze of a contraction, you don’t want to be responsible for explaining to your partner that the moaning really is normal. Let your doula take care of that.
Two types of expertise.
Your doula is knowledgeable about and comfortable with the process of birth. And few people know better than your partner the types of communication and comfort you respond to. Together, they make an unstoppable labor support team.
How to make the most of the dad-doula relationship?
Enlisting the help of a doula can help enhance your partner’s involvement. Here are some things to remember to ensure you get the most out of your doula’s services.
· Communicate with each other about your fears. If either of you is worried about how the introduction of a doula might change your dynamic, talk about it ahead of time. Set clear expectations of the type of support you want from each other and from your doula.
· Ask your doula for the labor support that’s right for you. If you need privacy at some point, want to learn a massage or pressure technique, or don’t understand why something is happening, ask.
· Set clear goals for how you want the birth to go, what kind of support you want from your partner, and what kind of support you both want from your doula.